Extra Points

Scouting the Schedule: Bills


We continue our 13-part series today with the third installment by taking a look at another AFC East rival of the Patriots’, in Buffalo.

For insight on the club, we enlisted Buffalo News NFL writer Mark Gaughan (check out his coverage here and his blog here). The Bills are coming off a full decade without a playoff berth, and have a new regime headed by GM Buddy Nix and coach Chan Gailey at the helm. Let’s hand it over to Mark to check out the Patriots’ Week 3 and 16 foe …

Where they’re good: The Bills’ strongest unit is the defensive secondary, where they are experienced and deep. Terrence McGee and Leodis McKelvin are the starters (look for a big year from McKelvin, who has great tools). … The Bills are six deep at cornerback with veterans who have played pretty well … At safety, they have a strong centerfielder in Jairus Byrd (9 INTs last year) and a versatile SS in Donte Whitner. The backups are experienced. … They’re also strong at RB, with Fred Jackson, C.J. Spiller and Marshawn Lynch. There has been a ton of talk about Lynch being traded this offseason, but the optimal time to do it was just before the draft. So the Bills are three-deep with strong RBs.

The big camp questions:
Who wins the QB job (Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick or Brian Brohm) and does it make any difference who wins the job? … The OT situation was a disaster last year. Is it any better this year? Demetrius Bell, coming off knee surgery, is the prospective starter at LT. Cornell Green was signed from Oakland to be the RT. Who steps up at WR behind No. 1 man Lee Evans? (James Hardy, Steve Johnson and Marcus Easley are the top contenders to be No. 2). Is there enough pass rush now that DE Aaron Schobel has announced he’s probably going to retire?

This needs to happen to win big: … A lot. …  See all the questions above.

Where they stack up: The Bills enter 2010 the clear-cut No. 4 in what looks like a very strong AFC East. They’re adopting an entirely new offense and are switching from a small, Indy-style 4-3 to the 3-4. … It figures to take awhile.

Wednesday: Bengals
Yesterday: Jets
Today: Bills
Tomorrow: Ravens


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